It’s the Reid Option. Get it right. https://t.co/ngAXGt8zfp
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) April 3, 2017
He guaranteed Neil Gorsuch elevation to the Supreme Court.
…Donald Trump for winning the election. Hillary Clinton for losing it. Mitch McConnell for holding open the high court seat through 2016, resolute and immovable against furious (and hypocritical) opposition from Democrats and media. And, of course, Harry Reid.
God bless Harry Reid. It’s because of him that Gorsuch is guaranteed elevation to the court. In 2013, as Senate majority leader, Reid blew up the joint. He abolished the filibuster for federal appointments both executive (such as Cabinet) and judicial, for all district and circuit court judgeships (excluding only the Supreme Court). Thus unencumbered, the Democratic-controlled Senate packed the lower courts with Obama nominees.
Reid was warned that the day would come when Republicans would be in the majority and would exploit the new rules to equal and opposite effect. That day is here.
The result is striking. Trump’s Cabinet appointments are essentially unstoppable because Republicans need only 51 votes and they have 52. They have no need to reach 60, the number required to overcome a filibuster. Democrats are powerless to stop anyone on their own.
And equally powerless to stop Gorsuch. But isn’t the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees still standing? Yes, but if the Democrats dare try it, everyone knows that Majority Leader McConnell will do exactly what Reid did and invoke the nuclear option — filibuster abolition — for the Supreme Court, too.
Reid never fully appreciated the magnitude of his crime against the Senate. As I wrote at the time, the offense was not abolishing the filibuster — you can argue that issue either way — but that he did it by simple majority. Read the rest of this entry »
The Founding Fathers got it right, and California is proof.
Consider this: Hillary Clinton’s 2.3-million-popular-vote plurality over Trump depends on the votes in a single state.
James E. Campbell writes: Shocked and appalled by the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency, some supporters of Hillary Clinton have turned to minimizing and even delegitimizing Trump’s election. In an era of severe political polarization, in an election with two candidates seen from the outset in highly unfavorable terms, after the most brutal campaign in modern history, and with an outcome that astonished just about everyone, these reactions are understandable, but wrong.
Many diehard Clinton supporters cannot bring themselves to believe their candidate could lose to Donald Trump. They think: How could such a crude and inept con man be elected president? Even after it has happened, it is unthinkable, a nightmare. So, the election must not have been fair.
Those on the fringe raise the specter of diabolical Russians hacking away at our democracy. More grounded Clintonians have less malevolent bogeymen — our Founding Fathers. As they see it, the election’s outcome should be blamed on a dysfunctional and archaic electoral-vote system. Hillary won the national popular vote. She should be president. It is as simple as that. The Electoral College should go the way of Trump University.
They are right about one thing: Clinton did win the popular vote, by some 2.8 million votes, as the most recent data show.
Yet Clinton has only 232 electoral votes (in 20 states plus Washington, D.C.) to Trump’s 306 (in 30 states plus one from Maine), making him the president-elect. So Trump’s election without a popular-vote plurality is regarded as an injustice. Some Democrats claim a moral victory as victims of an electoral-vote system that once again horribly “misfired.” Their claim, however, neglects two facts.
First, had the election been conducted with rules awarding the presidency to the popular-vote winner, the candidates and many voters quite probably would have acted very differently, and the popular vote might not have been the same. Trump and Clinton would have campaigned in the “safe” states. Potential voters in those states would have felt more pressure to turn out and to vote for “the lesser of two evils” and not to waste their votes on third-party candidates. Some additional Clinton voters would probably have shown up, but gains on the Trump side would probably have been larger as more reluctant Republicans would have been pushed to return to the fold, particularly in big blue states like California, New York and Illinois. Read the rest of this entry »
At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey writes: In the clip above, Conway wonders aloud what message Democrats thought they were selling during the campaign. “I don’t know what her message was to America,” Conway says, “other than ‘I’m not Donald Trump and you shouldn’t vote for him’.” Conway also argues that Hillary didn’t do much to move the needle with women, scoring 54/41 in exit polls, almost identical to Barack Obama’s 55/44 over Mitt Romney in 2012. How did she fail to leverage that advantage, Conway asks?
The near-hysteria generated by advocates of this latest social panic has reached almost ludicrous heights. In the past 48 hours, we have now been lectured about “fake news” by Hillary Clinton, former NBC News anchor Brian Williams, and outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. Hillary’s reliance on lies and half-truths in the campaign was well documented, especially when it came to her e-mail scandal and the slow unfolding of contradictory facts that exposed those lies — let alone Hillary’s claim to have been in New York City on 9/11, “Tuzla Dash” claims in 2008, her supposed rejection by the Marine Corps over her gender, and especially the attempt to slough off the planned terror attack on our Benghazi compound in 2012 as a spontaneous reaction to a YouTube video when speaking to the families of those killed in the attack. Brian Williams lost his position as anchor for repeated instances of fabulism, including in on-air remarks. Read the rest of this entry »
That fact has begun to grate at Democrats, who have complained bitterly at Republicans’ stands against Obama’s nominees.
Manu Raju and Ted Barrett report: Senate Democrats are eager to make Donald Trump pay a political price for nominating staunch conservatives to fill out his Cabinet, hoping to exact revenge for the GOP’s stubborn opposition to President Barack Obama’s nominees.
But there is little they can do about it — and some top Democrats are now coming to regret it
“Yes, we changed the rules. We had to change rules because we now have a DC Circuit that functions, we’ve got 98 judges, and we have a functioning National Labor Relations Board …. And remember, with now 48 senators, we only need to pick up a few Republicans of goodwill to stop some of these nominations.”
— Harry Reid
That’s because Senate Democrats muscled through an unprecedented rules change in 2013 to weaken the power of the minority party to filibuster Cabinet-level appointees and most judicial nominees, now setting the threshold at 51 votes — rather than 60 — to overcome tactics aimed at derailing nominations.
“I do regret that. I frankly think many of us will regret that in this Congress because it would have been a terrific speed bump, potential emergency break, to have in our system to slow down nominees.”
— Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, a Democrat who voted for the rules change three years ago.
With the Senate GOP poised to hold 52 seats next Congress, some Democrats now say they should have thought twice before making the rules change — known on Capitol Hill as the “nuclear option.”
“I do regret that,” said Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, a Democrat who voted for the rules change three years ago. “I frankly think many of us will regret that in this Congress because it would have been a terrific speed bump, potential emergency break, to have in our system to slow down nominees.”
With their power weakened, Democrats are weighing how to make life difficult for the Senate GOP.
They are planning on making the fight over Rep. Tom Price’s nomination to lead the Health and Human Services Department a proxy war over the GOP’s plans to to dramatically overhaul Medicare. They want to turn Steven Mnuchin’s nomination to lead the Treasury into a battle over regulating Wall Street. And they want to make Sen. Jeff Sessions answer for his hard-line stands on civil rights issues and against comprehensive immigration reform.
Senate Democrats plan to make speeches and mount objections to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s efforts to quickly schedule votes to confirm much of Trump’s Cabinet by the time he is inaugurated in January. Under the rules, they could delay votes from taking place for a few days at a time, temporarily slowing down the Trump agenda.
But they ultimately won’t be able to stop those nominees — unless Republicans defect and join the Democratic opposition. And that fact has begun to grate at Democrats, who have complained bitterly at Republicans’ stands against Obama’s nominees — most notably their unprecedented refusal to even give the President’s Supreme Court choice, Merrick Garland, a hearing.
Some Democrats realize they’ve made life harder for themselves. Read the rest of this entry »
In 2014, after almost 30 years as CEI’s president, Smith became director of the group’s Center for the Advancement of Capitalism, which champions free markets as the best means to create a fair, prosperous, and future-oriented society. Libertarians, says the one-time federal bureaucrat, have always had a difficulty communicating their ideas to a wider public, even to the entrepreneurs and business leaders who radically improve our lives on a daily basis by providing better and better goods and services at lower and lower prices. “We need to re-calibrate our arguments so they reach the people we need to have as allies. That means businessmen.”
Reason‘s Nick Gillespie sat down with Smith to talk about the liberating history of capitalism, the regulatory war on innovation, whether millennials are socialists or capitalists, and the morality of market exchanges. “The market not only creates a web of voluntary economic interactions,” says Smith. “It is the best facilitator for creating the social networks that encompass the modern world.” Read the rest of this entry »
The Democratic sit-in included one of the most embarrassing moments of my career.
WASHINGTON – Paul Singer writes: The House Democrats’ anti-gun sit-in last week included one of the more embarrassing moments of my journalism career.
The Democrats had grabbed the House floor for what amounted to an impromptu 25-hour filibuster to protest the unwillingness of Republican leadership to call a vote on gun control legislation.
“The Democrats were pumping up their energy. They congratulated each other and cheered. The partisans who had packed the public visitors’ gallery cheered with them — a no-no when the House is in session.”
This was a new and unusual tactic, and nobody had any idea how it was going to end. The House doesn’t have a filibuster, so it also doesn’t have a way to end one. That makes it newsworthy.
As the protest dragged on through the day Wednesday, the rows of stools in the press gallery — up above the House floor — usually nearly empty during House business, had become full. This had become a full-blown Event, and more than two dozen reporters sat in the gallery documenting it.
“The lawmakers then turned to the galleries and thanked the visitors for their support, and everybody cheered some more.”
At around 9 p.m., as they were girding for House Republicans to return and attempt to re-establish control of the floor, the Democrats were pumping up their energy. They congratulated each other and cheered.
“And then, my moment of shame. Someone on the floor called out thanks to the press, saying our reporting had spread the word and fueled their protest.”
The partisans who had packed the public visitors’ gallery cheered with them — a no-no when the House is in session. Visitors are supposed to sit quietly, but by this hour many of the rules of the House floor had long since been thrown out the window.
“But to be fair, when Republicans voted more than 50 times to repeal Obamacare, that was a “stunt,” too. And of course, they were sending fundraising appeals every time.”
The lawmakers then turned to the galleries and thanked the visitors for their support, and everybody cheered some more. That was another no-no — lawmakers are prohibited from acknowledging the galleries from the floor.
“Congress is legislating less and less, and much of what it does nowadays is a stunt.”
And then, my moment of shame. Someone on the floor called out thanks to the press, saying our reporting had spread the word and fueled their protest. The 100-or-so Members of Congress on the floor and the several hundred partisans in the gallery cheered for us.
My colleagues and I were mortified. Read the rest of this entry »
“I’m kind of like Martin Luther when he was on trial, and he said, ‘Here I stand. I can do no other.’ I mean, I dedicated my life to this,” Koch said. “The ideas we’ve been talking about transformed my life, and so it’s my mission. I feel a moral obligation to help other people learn these and transform their lives.”
“It’s frightening for the future of the country to have these public officials try to hurt and destroy private citizens who oppose what they’re doing rather than have a conversation and maybe find, as we’ve done with the White House, find areas where we can work together on things we agree to make the country better instead of this vitriol and these dishonest attacks.”
Read more at The Corner
Ted Cruz Zings Outgoing John Boehner Over ‘Early Reports’ That He ‘Cut a Deal’ With Nancy Pelosi Before ResigningPosted: September 25, 2015
“I will say, the early reports are discouraging. If it is correct that the speaker, before he resigns, has cut a deal with Nancy Pelosi to fund the Obama administration for the rest of its tenure, to fund Obamacare, to fund executive amnesty, to fund Planned Parenthood, to fund implementation of this Iran deal — and then, presumably, to land in a cushy K Street job after joining with the Democrats to implement all of President Obama’s priorities, that is not the behavior one would expect of a Republican speaker of the House.”
Cruz told reporters at the conservative Values Voter Summit in Washington.
Senator Schumer: Public Enemy No. 1 for Liberal Activists
Julian Hattem reports: Liberals are livid at Sen. Charles Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) decision to oppose the White House’s nuclear deal with Iran, and have threatened to launch a full-scale war as retribution.
Activists and former top officials within the Obama administration are openly contemplating whether Schumer’s stance disqualifies him from serving as the next Senate Democratic leader — which he is primed to do — and seeking to temporarily cut off money to Democrats in the upper chamber.
“No real Democratic leader does this. If this is what counts as ‘leadership’ among Democrats in the Senate, Senate Democrats should be prepared to find a new leader or few followers.”
— MoveOn.org political action executive director Ilya Sheyman
It’s unclear whether Schumer’s announcement will have a devastating effect on the White House’s efforts to prevent Democrats from killing the deal when it comes up for a vote in Congress next month.
“This is a real and serious backlash, one that comes from deep within the Democratic Party’s base, and I think we’re only going to see it grow.”
— Becky Bond, the political director for Credo Action
But it’s clear that he will be Public Enemy No. 1 for liberal activists throughout the August recess, as they aim to rally support from Democrats on the agreement.
“This is a real and serious backlash, one that comes from deep within the Democratic Party’s base, and I think we’re only going to see it grow,” said Becky Bond, the political director for Credo Action.
Liberal groups including Credo, MoveOn.org and Democracy for America are rallying supporters to flood congressional mailboxes and town halls over the course of the next month to demand lawmakers support the agreement. On Friday, they launched a new website, 60DaysToStopAWar.com, to list upcoming town halls and aid in the push.
Late on Thursday evening, Schumer upended the congressional debate over the Iran agreement by announcing in a lengthy statement that he “must oppose the agreement” and “will vote yes on a motion of disapproval” when it comes up for a vote in September.
He also will vote to override President Obama’s veto of legislation to kill the deal, Schumer’s office confirmed.
The move puts Schumer at odds on the most significant foreign policy issue of the year with both Obama and Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination.
That left many liberals furious, and stunned at how the presumptive next Senate Democratic leader could break with virtually every other leader of their party.
Even though the No. 3 Senate Democrat released his statement in the middle of the first GOP presidential debate — practically ensuring it would be buried in the media — activist groups including MoveOn and Credo pounced within moments. Read the rest of this entry »
The approach is simple: When gun control fails, it proves we need more gun control
AWR Hawkins writes:
On Friday, The Washington Post ran a column asking readers to “look away from the Confederate flag” and look instead at the gun alleged Charleston attacker Dylann Roof held in his hand….
WaPo published a picture of Roof holding a Confederate flag in his left hand and a Glock in his right….
…Ironically, WaPo admits gun control could not stop attacks like Sandy Hook and they admit, implicitly, that it did not stop Roof. Then they quickly point out that this is no reason for “defeatism” among gun control proponents. Rather, gun control should be pursued anyway:
Mr. Roof is not the real face of gun violence in the United States. Gun violence is an everyday problem that has many faces: Abusive husbands who fly off the handle; kids who accidentally shoot their friends — or themselves — while playing with their parents’ weapons; criminals who find it too easy to get illegal guns.
Public policy can’t prevent every gun death. But it can do a lot more than it is now: make it harder for the mentally ill, family abusers or criminals to obtain and keep firearms; crack down on gun trafficking; require proper gun storage; and reconsider laws that seem to encourage people to use guns in situations they consider threatening. Read the rest of this entry »
‘Float Like a Bee, Sting Like a Butterfly’: Mitt Romney Lasts Two Rounds with Evander Holyfield in Charity Boxing MatchPosted: May 15, 2015
SALT LAKE CITY – Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and five-time heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield squared off in the ring Friday at a charity fight night event in Salt Lake City.
Romney, 68, and Holyfield, 52, sparred, if you could call it that, for just two short rounds before Romney ran away from the boxer and threw in the towel, giving up a round early in the lighthearted fight that came amid several other fights by professional boxers and an auction.
“You know what? You float like a bee and sting like a butterfly.”
The two barely threw any punches and largely just danced around, occasionally lightly jabbing each other in the midsection in what was much more of a comedic event than an actual bout.
The black-tie affair raised money for the Utah-based organization CharityVision, which helps doctors in developing countries perform surgeries to restore vision in people with curable blindness.
Romney’s son Josh Romney, who lives in Utah, serves as a volunteer president for CharityVision. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Harry Reid: ‘I think a lot of people, as I read, they kinda don’t like me as a person, and I think that’s unfortunate’Posted: April 15, 2015
Reid Denies He Got Beat Up By The Mob
“Why in the world would I come up with some story that I got hurt in my own bathroom with my wife standing there? How could anyone say anything like that?”
“In the last few days, a bunch of people are saying, ‘Reid, he didn’t have an exercise accident. He got beaten up by the mob,’” Harwood said.
“You know, I don’t really care. I think they’re all losers.”
“It shows the credibility of Rush Limbaugh. He’s the guy who got that started,” Reid responded. “Why in the world would I come up with some story that I got hurt in my own bathroom with my wife standing there? How could anyone say anything like that?”
“I think a lot of people, as I read, they kinda don’t like me as a person, and I think that’s unfortunate,” he added.”
Wesley Juhl reports: Sen. Harry Reid’s brother, Larry Joe Reid, will be charged with drunken driving and a gun charge among others after a run-in with a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper, the Clark County district attorney’s office said Thursday.
He faces one count each of driving under the influence, battery of a protected person, possession of a firearm while intoxicated, failing to comply with an officer and not wearing a seat belt.
Arrest records obtained by the Review-Journal said a trooper saw a black SUV driven by Reid enter a dirt median from southbound U.S. Highway 95 near the edge of the Boulder City city limit and the turnoff to Nelson about 12:30 a.m. on Feb. 2.
The trooper approached the SUV to see if there was a mechanical problem he could assist with, the report said, but the trooper could not understand Reid due to his incoherent, slurred speech. The trooper asked Reid if he was all right several times, and Reid responded by asking if he could leave.
When the trooper said no, Reid cursed at him and began to drive off, the report said. The trooper tried to grab the keys out of the ignition and had to jump onto the running board beneath the driver’s side door to avoid being dragged. The two struggled over the steering wheel, and the trooper pointed his weapon at Reid and ordered him to stop. Read the rest of this entry »
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is changing the story about how he sustained those gruesome New Year’s Day injuries that have left him blind in one eye
Michael Patrick Leahy reports:
…Previously, Reid claimed that an exercise band he was using “broke.”
“Sources familiar with the incident said Reid was exercising in his bathroom, with the exercise band attached to the shower door.”
— Politico reported on January 22.
“I was doing exercises that I’ve been doing for many years with those large rubber bands and one of them broke and spun me around and I crashed into these cabinets and injured my eye,” (emphasis added) Reid said at a press conference on January 22.
(You can see the video of that press conference here.)
But now, in an interview conducted by Fusion (a joint venture between ABC and Univision), excerpts of which have been released today, Reid tells Univision anchor Jorge Ramos that the exercise band “slipped,” rather than “broke.”
“Now, however, Reid tells Ramos a different story. The exercise band was not attached to the shower door in his bathroom, Reid says, but was instead attached to ‘a big metal hook that came out from the wall’ in an unspecified room in his new Nevada home.”
“[T]he [elastic band] strap had no handle on it, slipped, spun me around, uh, about, oh I guess four feet (Reid points with his right hand to the wall of the interview room) and so I smashed my face into a cabinet,” Reid tells Ramos.
Reid’s latest version of the incident, as told to Ramos, differs from previous versions advanced by his team in another very significant way.
As Breitbart News reported previously, that version of the story, almost certainly told to Politico by Reid’s staffers with his approval, is not credible.
Now, however, Reid tells Ramos a different story. The exercise band was not attached to the shower door in his bathroom, Reid says, but was instead attached to “a big metal hook that came out from the wall” in an unspecified room in his new Nevada home.
Watch the full video of the excerpts of the Fusion interview here:
Here’s a partial transcript of the excerpt of the interview released by Fusion:
Ramos: You said recently that the accident had nothing to do with your decision to retire.
However, we are seeing the consequences of what happened.
What really happened?
Was it really with an elastic band? Read the rest of this entry »
Michael Patrick Leahy reports: In its indictment of Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Dr. Salomon Melgen, a Florida opthalmologist, the Department of Justice cites Melgen’s $600,000 donation to Senator Harry Reid’s (D-NV) Senate Majority PAC in 2012. That money, the feds charge, was earmarked for the successful re-election of Menendez, and was part of “hundreds of thousands of dollars and contributions to entities that benefitted MENENDEZ’s 2012 Senate campaign, in exchange for specific requested exercises of MENENDEZ’s official authority.”
“Having worked for the Justice Department for many years, I was taken aback, upon carefully reviewing the indictment, at the lengths to which prosecutors went to downplay or omit salient details of Sen. Reid’s participation in a corruption scheme for which they’ve charged Sen. Menendez.”
— Former chief assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Andy McCarthy
The indictment makes no mention of the additional $100,000 Melgen contributed to the Senate Majority PAC a mere two weeks before Reid arranged an August 2, 2012 meeting among himself, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, and Menendez.
At that meeting, Menendez advocated directly to Secretary Sebelius on behalf of Melgen’s appeal of an HHS finding that he owed $8.9 million for overbilling Medicare in 2007 and 2008. That advocacy, the indictment charges, was the influence Melgen received from Menendez in return for his $600,000 contribution to Reid’s Senate Majority PAC.
That charge leads to an obvious question.
If Melgen’s $600,000 contribution to Senate Majority PAC was an illegal quid-pro-quo between Melgen and Menendez, does it not stand to reason that Melgen’s $100,000 contribution to the same Senate Majority PAC was an illegal quid-pro-quo between Melgen and Reid in which the influence Melgen received was Reid’s arrangement of and participation in the August 2, 2012 meeting attended by Reid, Sebelius, and Menendez?
“I don’t understand, for example, how you go to the trouble of itemizing trivial gifts like Melgen’s buying Menendez a $360 steakhouse dinner but leave out Melgen’s giving $100,000 to a Reid-controlled super PAC just a few days before Reid — not Menendez — arranged a meeting with the HHS secretary to intervene in Melgen’s $8.9 million Medicare billing dispute.”
— Former chief assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Andy McCarthy
Menendez benefited from the $600,000 that was earmarked to his campaign because it helped him sail to a 19-point re-election victory in deep-blue New Jersey. Reid benefited from the $100,000 that was not earmarked because he was able to allocate it as he wished to assist more vulnerable Democrat candidates in 2012. Those efforts were successful, and Reid emerged from the general elections with his position of Senate Majority Leader still intact.
“The facts and circumstances outlined in the Menendez indictment clearly implicate the current Democratic Senate Minority Leader in the scheme to sell influence for huge campaign contributions.”
Two former federal prosecutors tell Breitbart News that the Department of Justice, which indicted Menendez on Wednesday for his role “in the scheme to sell influence for huge campaign contributions,” has chosen “to downplay or omit salient details of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) participation in [that] corruption scheme.”
“It is obvious that the Justice Department chose to calibrate its charges so as to skip Reid. The timing and size of the contributions to Reid’s PAC coupled with his personal attendance at a meeting with Secretary Sebelius along with Menendez on behalf of the Doctor demonstrate facts sufficient to warrant further investigation.”
— Former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova
“The facts and circumstances outlined in the Menendez indictment clearly implicate the current Democratic Senate Minority Leader in the scheme to sell influence for huge campaign contributions,” former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova tells Breitbart News.
“It is obvious that the Justice Department chose to calibrate its charges so as to skip Reid. The timing and size of the contributions to Reid’s PAC coupled with his personal attendance at a meeting with Secretary Sebelius along with Menendez on behalf of the Doctor demonstrate facts sufficient to warrant further investigation,” di Genova adds.
“The fundraiser referenced in the indictment as ‘Fundraiser 2′ and Dr. Melgen are personal friends, and we were not aware of the full extent of their communication until the indictment came out [Wednesday] night. While we are confident that this was an isolated incident, the fundraiser in question is no longer with Senate Majority PAC.”
— Stephanie Potter, executive director of Senate Majority PAC
“Having worked for the Justice Department for many years, I was taken aback, upon carefully reviewing the indictment, at the lengths to which prosecutors went to downplay or omit salient details of Sen. Reid’s participation in a corruption scheme for which they’ve charged Sen. Menendez,” former chief assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Andy McCarthy tells Breitbart News.
“I don’t understand, for example, how you go to the trouble of itemizing trivial gifts like Melgen’s buying Menendez a $360 steakhouse dinner but leave out Melgen’s giving $100,000 to a Reid-controlled super PAC just a few days before Reid — not Menendez — arranged a meeting with the HHS secretary to intervene in Melgen’s $8.9 million Medicare billing dispute,” McCarthy says.
A spokesperson for Senate Majority PAC attempted to distance the organization from the illegal activity described in the indictment. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Retiring Mobster Harry Reid Justifies Lying About Romney from Senate Floor: ‘He Didn’t Win, Did He?’Posted: March 31, 2015
Alex Griswold writes: In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, departing Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said he had no regrets about lying on the Senate floor that Republican Mitt Romney hadn’t paid his taxes in 12 years, because in the end, “Romney didn’t win.”
“Well, they call it whatever they want. Romney didn’t win, did he?”
Bash noted in the narration that Reid accused Romney “with no evidence” of having not paid any taxes, and also attacked the Koch brothers on the Senate floor. “No, I don’t regret that at all,” Reid responded…(read more)
REWIND: The Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act Passed the House Unanimously and the Senate 97-3Posted: March 28, 2015
Remember When Democrats Used To Support Religious Freedom? Remarks on Signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993
By Bill Clinton, November 16, 1993:
Thank you very much, Mr. Vice President, for those fine remarks and to the Members of Congress, the chaplains of the House and the Senate, and to all of you who worked so hard to help this day become a reality. Let me especially thank the Coalition for the Free Exercise of Religion for the central role they played in drafting this legislation and working so hard for its passage.
“What this law basically says is that the Government should be held to a very high level of proof before it interferes with someone’s free exercise of religion.”
It is interesting to note, as the Vice President said, what a broad coalition of Americans came together to make this bill a reality; interesting to note that that coalition produced a 97-to3 vote in the United States Senate and a bill that had such broad support it was adopted on a voice vote in the House. I’m told that, as many of the people in the coalition worked together across ideological and religious lines, some new friendships were formed and some new trust was established, which shows, I suppose, that the power of God is such that even in the legislative process miracles can happen. [Laughter]
We all have a shared desire here to protect perhaps the most precious of all American liberties, religious freedom. Usually the signing of legislation by a President is a ministerial act, often a quiet ending to a turbulent legislative process. Today this event assumes a more majestic quality because of our ability together to affirm the historic role that people of faith have played in the history of this country and the constitutional protections those who profess and express their faith have always demanded and cherished.
“I submit to you today, my fellow Americans, that we can stand that kind of debate in this country. We are living in a country where the most central institution of our society, the family, has been under assault for 30 years.”
The power to reverse legislation by legislation, a decision of the United States Supreme Court, is a power that is rightly hesitantly and infrequently exercised by the United States Congress. But this is an issue in which that extraordinary measure was clearly called for.
— Hunter Schwarz (@hunterschwarz) March 27, 2015
As the Vice President said, this act reverses the Supreme Court’s decision Employment Division against Smith and reestablishes a standard that better protects all Americans of all faiths in the exercise of their religion in a way that I am convinced is far more consistent with the intent of the Founders of this Nation than the Supreme Court decision.
“More than 50 cases have been decided against individuals making religious claims against Government action since that decision was handed down. This act will help to reverse that trend by honoring the principle that our laws and institutions should not impede or hinder but rather should protect and preserve fundamental religious liberties.”
The free exercise of religion has been called the first freedom, that which originally sparked the development of the full range of the Bill of Rights. Our Founders cared a lot about religion. And one of the reasons they worked so hard to get the first amendment into the Bill of Rights at the head of the class is that they well understood what could happen to this country, how both religion and Government could be perverted if there were not some space created and some protection provided. They knew that religion helps to give our people the character without which a democracy cannot survive. They knew that there needed to be a space of freedom between Government and people of faith that otherwise Government might usurp.
“We are a people of faith. We have been so secure in that faith that we have enshrined in our Constitution protection for people who profess no faith. And good for us for doing so. That is what the first amendment is all about.”
They have seen now, all of us, that religion and religious institutions have brought forth faith and discipline, community and responsibility over two centuries for ourselves and enabled us to live together in ways that I believe would not have been possible. We are, after all, the oldest democracy now in history and probably the most truly multiethnic society on the face of the Earth. And I am convinced that neither one of those things would be true today had it not been for the importance of the first amendment and the fact that we have kept faith with it for 200 years. Read the rest of this entry »
From The Corner:
Charles Krauthammer said he knew it was impolite to speak ill of the dead, but since Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) was simply retiring, the syndicated columnist said he did not feel quite so constrained.
“I do think he was a disgrace to his own institution because he emasculated it in the name of protecting the president and trying to re-elect Democrats. He didn’t succeed because he essentially shut down the Senate as soon as Republicans took the House in 2010.”
“Harry, we hardly knew ye, and what we did know we didn’t like,” Krauthammer said on Special Report…(read more)
Senator Harry Reid, the tough tactician who has led Senate Democrats since 2005, will not seek re-election next year, bringing an end to a three-decade congressional career that culminated with his push of President Obama’s ambitious agenda against fierce Republican resistance.
Mr. Reid, 75, who suffered serious eye and facial injuries in a Jan. 1 exercise accident at his Las Vegas home, said he had been contemplating retiring from the Senate for months. He said his decision was not attributable either to the accident or to his demotion to minority leader after Democrats lost the majority in November’s midterm elections.
“I understand this place,” Mr. Reid said. “I have quite a bit of power as minority leader.”
The National Republican Senatorial Committee responds to Harry Reid’s retirement:
“On the verge of losing his own election and after losing the majority, Senator Harry Reid has decided to hang up his rusty spurs. Not only does Reid instantly become irrelevant and a lame duck, his retirement signals that there is no hope for the Democrats to regain control of the Senate. With the exception of Reid, every elected statewide official in Nevada is Republican and this race is the top pickup opportunity for the GOP.”
Hot Air‘s Ed Morrissey comments:
“…The contrast of Reid’s obstructionism on budgets through most of his reign and the easy way in which Republicans settled back into normal order would have proved embarrassing when the GOP used it on the campaign trail next year, and Reid would have become the poster boy for the kind of dysfunction voters would get if they chose Democrats in Senate races.
Now, after announcing his retirement, Reid’s clout will recede even further. A Minority Leader who doesn’t plan on running again will hold fewer cards for whipping his caucus into line. Other Democrats will look to those who will control committee assignments in future sessions, and the jockeying for leadership slots will necessarily push Reid to the sidelines. Procedurally, Reid might be able to cause some problems, but the more he does that the more he damages Democrats in the next election cycle, especially to the extent that it’s seen as running interference for a lame-duck President who suffered two successive midterm disasters. Read the rest of this entry »
Andrew Ferguson’s Ted Cruz Profile September 23,2013
From yesterday’s New York Times, this:
In 2013, a Ferguson profile of Ted Cruz included a devastating section in which the journalist, trapped in cars and green rooms with his subject, realizes that Cruz only speaks in stump speeches, and won’t … stop … giving … them.
I remember reading the Cruz profile, “Washington Builds a Bugaboo” in in The Weekly Standard back in 2013, and the impression it left was permanent. Even now, it’s hard to look at Cruz without recalling the unflattering depictions of Cruz’s unyielding conversational style and tone-deaf careerism. It’s a good cautionary tale. Read the whole thing here.
September 23, 2013, Andrew Ferguson writes:
Several times a day, especially if he’s out travelin’ and talkin’ to folks, as he always is when the U.S. Senate isn’t in session, Ted Cruz will stand before an audience and reflect, seemingly for the first time, about the generational shift taking place in the Republican party.
“Ted really worked at it. He’d practice at home in front of the mirror to get everything just right.”
— Paige Moore, a friend of the Cruz family
“I call them the Children of Reagan,” he says. He means the rising group of Republican officeholders who came to political consciousness during President Reagan’s two terms. He rattles off their names: “young leaders” like Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, Nikki Haley, Mike Lee, Scott Walker . . . and then sometimes he’ll pause, letting you wonder if he’s leaving out any of the Children’s names. Sometimes a helpful fan in the audience will volunteer it, to general appreciation from the crowd.
Among that tiny fraction of Americans who are paying attention to such things, Cruz seems to be the only person who is forgetting Ted Cruz’s name.
“Americans who worry about democracy need to keep on this guy,” warned a reporter for the New Republic back in February. And no wonder! Skim the tweets or scan the blogs or, if you’re older than one of Reagan’s Children, read the actual newspapers, and you’ll soon discover that Ted Cruz is far more than the freshman senator from Texas, only eight months in office. He is also the “scary” “McCarthyite” “Taliban” “bully” and “bomb-thrower” known for his “extremism” and his “arrogant” and “nihilistic” “disregard of facts.”
When you follow him around, however—for he is in constant motion, from Iowa to New Hampshire to every corner of Texas—this nasty fellow you’ve been reading about, the caricature Cruz, never appears. If “Ted Cruz” didn’t exist, professional Democrats and the mainstreamers in the Washington press corps would have to invent him.
And, in a way, he doesn’t, and they have: Indeed, the invention of Ted Cruz as Republican bugaboo makes an excellent case study in how partisan journalism and politics commingle these days, as jittery Washington prepares for the post-Obama era.
Already the litany of Cruz’s extremism has become an item in the progressive catechism. Most of it involves alleged violations of Senate etiquette, and it’s useful to glance over a few of them, to see how the legend grows.
The unnerved New Republic reporter mentioned above was alarmed in particular by Cruz’s questioning of soon-to-be defense secretary Chuck Hagel during Hagel’s confirmation hearings.
Cruz opposed Hagel’s nomination. The reasons seemed straightforward—Cruz disagreed with the nominee on questions of national defense and foreign policy, including Hagel’s well-attested aversion, or “antagonism,” as Cruz put it, toward Israel’s behavior in the Middle East. Cruz grilled Hagel (the verb is required when writing about congressional hearings) about his association with a ferociously anti-Israel U.S. diplomat called Chas Freeman. In 2009 Freeman resigned from the president’s National Intelligence Council after pro-Israel senators like Charles Schumer said his “statements against Israel were way over the top.”
At the hearing, Cruz asked Hagel whether he and Freeman had ever worked or junketed together, as press reports suggested. Hagel said no. Cruz moved on.
“Those old enough to remember, or who are familiar with, the history, will recognize Cruz’s line of attack as classic McCarthy tactics,” wrote TNR’s reporter. The mention of McCarthy is catnip for a good mainstreamer. “The Reincarnation of Joe McCarthy?” wondered a columnist for Forbes. The mere scent jogged the memory of a left-wing reporter for the New Yorker,who, Pavlov-style, wrote a story headlined: “Is Senator Ted Cruz Our New McCarthy?” She dug out old notes she had taken at a speech Cruz gave to a group of right-wingers a couple years before.
The New Yorker’s reporter didn’t mention it, but other people who were there say Cruz’s informal speech was boisterous and funny, tailored to an audience of like-minded ideologues. Just as a mention of Joe McCarthy thrills people on the left, so the right delights in mockery of Harvard, especially its law school—and especially if the speaker, like Cruz, is a graduate in good standing.
According to the New Yorker reporter, Cruz said this two years ago:
“There were fewer declared Republicans in the faculty when we were there than Communists! There was one Republican. But there were 12 who would say they were Marxists who believed in the Communists overthrowing the United States government.”
Having been found guilty as a McCarthyite, Cruz is of course granted no license for hyperbole, even among friends (and donors!). When Cruz attended Harvard Law, in the mid-90s, it was still the intellectual locus of a dying movement called Critical Legal Studies that was explicitly inspired by Marx, whose other followers, history shows, seldom reconciled themselves to the U.S. government. Earnestly, with that mock disinterestedness that characterizes the most dutiful of the mainstreamers, the reporter got an “equal-time” comment from a spokesman for the law school. The spokesman confessed to being “puzzled by the senator’s assertions.” For the record.
There is a professor at Harvard Law famous for, among other things, being a Republican. The New Yorker sleuth tracked him down. He told her that in fact, during Cruz’s Harvard years, 4 professors had publicly confessed to Republicanism. There were over 200 faculty at the law school at the time, but none, according to the New Yorker’s investigation, called for the Communists to overthrow the government. The question in the New Yorker headline answered itself. Read the rest of this entry »
Back in October, Fred Barnes wrote: Democratic senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina was pounded last winter and spring in TV ads by conservative groups for having voted for Obamacare and echoed President Obama’s false claim that people could keep their current health insurance. “They had her on the ropes,” says Marc Rotterman, a Republican consultant in North Carolina.
Then Senate Majority PAC, Harry Reid’s personal political action committee, intervened. Its television spots defended Hagan and attacked Thom Tillis, her Republican challenger, for supposedly dubious ethics. This was only the beginning. By last week, Reid’s PAC had spent $9 million to boost Hagan’s reelection. And Hagan’s candidacy was saved from an early, and possibly fatal, tailspin.
“Outside spending by groups—mostly super-PACs—that disclose their donors… is dominated by the left.”
Hagan has outraised Tillis, the state house speaker, $19.2 million to $4.8 million. But that’s only one measure of her money advantage. Liberal and Democratic groups have devoted $26.3 million to going after Tillis—a chunk of it on ads while he was still running in the Republican primary—and another $4 million touting her. Conservative and Republican groups were unable to neutralize the anti-Tillis barrage. They’ve spent $17.3 million against Hagan and $10.9 million to promote Tillis. In overall campaign spending, Hagan tops Tillis by $53.7 million to $33 million. This, however, doesn’t count undisclosed millions in “issue ads” criticizing Hagan by Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group.
The result: Hagan, a mediocre candidate at best, led Tillis in polls for months. Only in mid-October, with spending for Tillis finally matching that for Hagan, has the race tightened. He was ahead by a percentage point or two in several recent polls. Still, Hagan felt confident enough of winning to skip a scheduled debate with Tillis last week.
The North Carolina campaign is a reflection of what’s happened in many of the competitive Senate races. The political fundamentals favor Republicans. President Obama is so unpopular that Democratic candidates avoid mentioning his name, much less inviting him to appear at their campaign events or in their TV spots. Meanwhile, the economy is stagnant. Foreign policy failures continue to stack up. America’s global influence fades. Two-thirds of Americans are pessimistic about the country’s future. Democrats have few national issues they’re comfortable talking about. Read the rest of this entry »
A spokeswoman for Sen. Reid confirmed Larry Reid is Harry Reid’s brother, but wouldn’t comment about the arrest
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Authorities say the 73-year-old brother of Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid was arrested on misdemeanor driving under the influence, weapon and battery on an officer charges after he was found in a vehicle parked in a dirt median of a state highway in southern Nevada.
Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Loy Hixson said Tuesday that Larry Reid was arrested a little after noon Monday and released after spending a night at the Clark County jail on charges also including driving across a median and not wearing a seatbelt. Read the rest of this entry »